By Karen Hartman
Directed by Josh Hecht

March 19th & 2oth  7:30 pm, Morrison Stage at Artists Rep   


The Book of Joseph

The Book of Joseph was commissioned by the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, where it premiered last season. Profile patrons will recognize Karen Hartman as the co-author (with Tanya Barfield) of 2016’s Antigone Project and author of the play SuperTrue, which Profile presented as an In Dialogue Reading alongside the 2015 Sarah Ruhl season.

Every family has its secrets. The Hollander family’s spanned three generations and two continents, from World War II Poland to present-day America, all locked in a suitcase in Joseph Hollander’s attic. When his son, Richard, uncovered the suitcase, he found more than just Swastika-stamped letters and legal documents—he found a family he never met, and a father’s legacy that was never mentioned. A family torn apart by war, fighting to escape and survive, an unplanned immigration and quest to stay in the US, and a tale of love lost and found, were all captured in letters uncovered a generation later, which became the book Every Day Lasts a Year. Now adapted into The Book of Joseph, the Hollander family journey offers a story for each of us.

“★★★★ This real-life story … reminds an audience to pay attention to changes in the world.” -Chicago Tribune

“A simple yet wondrous insight into the nature of those who not only survived against all odds, but prevailed.” -Chicago Sun-Times


Free and open to the public – General Admission




Karen Hartman KAREN HARTMAN had four productions of three world premieres in 2016-2017, all with productions in 2017-18 as well: Roz and Ray at Victory Gardens and Seattle Repertory Theater (Edgerton New Play Prize), Book of Joseph at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Project Dawn at People’s Light (NEA Grant, NNPN Rolling World Premiere). Other works: Goldie, Max, and Milk (Steinberg and Carbonell Nominations), SuperTrue (Kilroy’s List), Gaza Rehearsal (Victory Gardens Ignition Fest), Goliath (Dorothy Silver New Play Prize), Gum, Leah’s Train (Weissberger Finalist), Going Gone (NEA Grant), Girl Under Grain (Best Drama, NY Fringe), ALICE: Tales of a Curious Girl (Music by Gina Leishman, AT&T Onstage Award), Troy Women. New York: Women’s Project, NAATCO, P73, Summer Play Festival. Regional: Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Dallas Theater Center, the Magic, and elsewhere. Publications: TCG, Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Backstage Books, NoPassport. Honors: McKnight Residency, New Dramatists, Bellagio, Helen Merrill Foundation, Hodder Fellowship, Jerome Fellowship, Fulbright Scholarship. Prose: New York Times and The Washington Post. Ms. Hartman is Senior Artist in Residence at University of Washington, Seattle.